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NEW: Kate Brown Says Governor not Required to Report McCaig as Election Worker

Thursday, October 02, 2014

 

Gov. John Kitzhaber

Gov. John Kitzhaber’s campaign does not have to report the unpaid work of a political consult, the elections division of the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office determined Thursday. 

The determination is a response to criticism that surfaced in the Willamette Week that the campaign had not reported the consulting services of Patricia McCaig, a former consultant for the failed Columbia River Crossing project. 

“We are concerned about the propriety of a political operative like Patricia McCaig, who benefited generously from consulting fees paid for promoting the failed Columbia River Crossing project, while being an unpaid and unreported consultant to the Governor,” Margie Hughes, Executive Director of the Oregon Republican Party said in a press release last week. 

This week the governor's office reacted by asking the secretary of state if McCaig's volunteer services as a consultant needed to be registered as a "political contribution."

"The consultant [McCaig] did have a defined professional role with the campaign in 2010, and may have such a role in 2014," the governor's office wrote in the inquiry. 

Secretary of State Kate Brown's office found that McCaig's services are considered "personal services" under the law and are therefore not required to be reported. 

The Secretary of State’s Office is investigating an elections complaint filed Wednesday by the Oregon Republican Party on the same issue. The compaint goes beyond the campaign finance reporting question and alleges public money was used to subsidize Kitzhaber's campaign staff. 

“We will investigate those allegations, and our conclusions in this opinion may be revised to reflect any new or additional facts discovered during our investigation,” Jennifer Hertel, the state's elections division compliance specialist states in the response to Kitzhaber's campaign. 

The Oregon Democratic Party filed an elecitons complaint against Kitzhaber's opponent, Republican Dennis Richardson, claiming his campaign took kickbacks from a consulting company. 

The DPO claims the campaign violated elections laws by receiving $15,000 from consulting firm Strategy Group for Media in July and then paying that same firm $20,000 to produce a TV ad.

 

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